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Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The 'magnificent' novel by the Costa-winning author of PURE

Andrew Miller

9 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction

By the Costa Award-winning author of PURE, a stunning historical novel - the tale of a traumatised soldier on a journey in search of peace, which turns into a nail-biting hunt to the death.

By the Costa Award-winning author of PURE, a stunning historical novel with the grip of a thriller, written in richly evocative, luminous prose.

One rain-swept February night in 1809, an unconscious man is carried into a house in Somerset. He is Captain John Lacroix, home from Britain's disastrous campaign against Napoleon's forces in Spain.

Gradually Lacroix recovers his health, but not his peace of mind - he cannot talk about the war or face the memory of what happened in a village on the gruelling retreat to Corunna. After the command comes to return to his regiment, he sets out instead for the Hebrides, with the vague intent of reviving his musical interests and collecting local folksongs.

Lacroix sails north incognito, unaware that he has far worse to fear than being dragged back to the army: a vicious English corporal and a Spanish officer are on his trail, with orders to kill. The haven he finds on a remote island with a family of free-thinkers and the sister he falls for are not safe, at all.

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Praise for Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The 'magnificent' novel by the Costa-winning author of PURE

  • Miller recreates the past so vividly that reading the novel is never less than a fully immersive experience . . . particularly enjoyable and satisfying. - The Times

  • Excellent ... a novel of delicately shifting moods, a pastoral comedy and passionate romance story alternating with a blackly menacing thriller. It is also a book of ideas: about male violence, the impact of war and the price of freedom. - Observer

  • In his luminous prose, Costa Prize winner Andrew Miller conjures three very different men, but their experiences have all been traumatising. Manhunt and pilgrimage, the tale unfolds into a gripping and, ultimately, surprising exploration of the inner battleground. - Daily Mail

  • Since the publication in 1997 of his first novel ... his books have revealed a powerful imagination at work, and one that is also rooted in the precisely yet poetically described realities of daily life. ... In his new novel, he succeeds in creating an involving, suspenseful drama and a moving portrait of a man in search of redemption from the violence of his past. - Sunday Times

  • Miller's beautiful sentences are a joy to read and his engrossing novel, teeming with vivid historical detail, is as suspenseful as any thriller. - Mail on Sunday

  • The tension is so finely balanced between hunter and hunted that the alternating chapters ultimately form one beautifully integrated whole, whilst

  • A novel that would not feel out of place in the collected work of Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter Scott or, indeed, alongside William Golding's To the Ends of the Earth trilogy. ...The joy of reading an Andrew Miller novel is his obvious passion for story and sensual language, and his ability to interweave the two seamlessly. The former is an often-forgotten art form in the contemporary novel, which often seeks to impress rather than entertain, but the latter is what makes him one of the most impressive novelists at work today. - Irish Times

  • The tension is so finely balanced between hunter and hunted that the alternating chapters ultimately form one beautifully integrated whole, whilst the historical setting is perfectly realised . . . a magnificent novel.' - Irish Independent

  • Andrew Miller can spin a ripping yarn with the skill and assurance of a master and the winner of the 2011 Costa Book of the Year for Pure is at the top of his game with Now We Shall Be Entirely Free . . . He fills his novel with vividly etched characters and has a way with words that delights, surprises and enthrals. There is never a dull sentence or commonplace description' - Sunday Express

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Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and greeted as the debut of an outstanding new writer. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for the best foreign novel published in Italy.


It has been followed by Casanova, Oxygen, which was shortlisted for the both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 2001, The Optimists, One Morning Like A Bird, Pure, which won the Costa Book of the Year Award 2011, and The Crossing.

Andrew Miller's novels have been published in translation in twenty countries. Born in Bristol in 1960, he has lived in Spain, Japan, France and Ireland, and currently lives in Somerset.

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